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Messages - richardgurtler

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301


Bruno Sanfilippo "Urbs" CD

Field recordings are the key elements of "Urbs" and "BIOMA", the last two albums of Bruno Sanfilippo (on "BIOMA" he was joined by his fellow soundscaper, Max Corbacho). While on "BIOMA" documenting the life of a nature, on "Urbs" Bruno has decided to focus on everyday's life of a city, when collecting location recordings from various European metropoles plus New York by mapping surrounding environments like train or subway stations, streets, bars, churches... This brand new album, Bruno's 16th when counting also his collaborations with Mathias Grassow or above mentioned Max Corbacho, is not only his premiere work for renowned Hypnos label, but also a quite radical departure from all his previous works that are spanning from rather ambient/new age oriented, through deeper organic or cinematic ambience to modern classical influenced. Bruno Sanfilippo is now venturing with "Urbs" into more minimal soundscaping with gently portrayed pulsing life of the city. To be honest, without knowing the name of the artist who is behind "Urbs", I would never connect it to Bruno Sanfilippo. But don't be afraid, because this chameleonic change is not only totally adventurous, but also proving the unlimited creativity and considerable talent of this sound architect (born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but residing in Barcelona, Spain). "Urban Flow" is perfectly chosen name for opening piece, with dominating colder on-site recordings of various rumblings, noises, buzzes, creaks or squeaks, all wrapped by hazed nocturnal atmosphere and masterfully merged with deeply evocative drones and assorted mesmerizingly or mysteriously emerging voice and choir samples. Wow, this is absolutely phenomenal, nearly 15-minute intro!!! Grandioso & mágico, Bruno!!! Voice transmissions unfold the next piece, "The City Reflected", clocking over 20 minutes. Deep, nearly ear-bending echoes, various rumblings, mysteriously odd voices enter the stage as well, everything harmoniously crafted and bridged, and superbly evoking a place similar to some underground lively corridor. Cascading sonic palette is minimal, but intense and maximally effective. "Chaotic Order", a 25 and half minutes long opus reveals with deeper drones, again enriched by distant conversations and various street rumblings, serenely drifting before entering during the second third into slightly more active areas with glitchy and hissy elements invading. The last third returns to more mysterious and droning course with assorted noises, breathings and voices on the back. Definitely another deeply absorbing masterpiece!!! The closing piece, 7-minute "The Gray Umbrella", is colored by various voice recordings, possibly the most textured sonic escapade slowly moving towards the end into minimal and quieter, nearly meditative outro. "Urbs" is stirringly challenging and refreshing, carefully sculpted and fused into amazingly homogeneous structure, with strong attention paid to every detail. This album delivers enormous amount of spectacular listening moments and transports each listener into magnificently immersing urban environments. Bravo to Bruno Sanfilippo, bravo to Hypnos!!!

Richard Gürtler (May 27, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

302
Thank you, drone on and Harry, for your kind words, as always it's much appreciated!!! Feel free to explore Andrew's music through his own website or through CD Baby. The physical copies are more pricey, but it's worth! Keep on enjoying great music!!! :)

Richard

303
Great review, drone on!!! I am really enjoying "Urbs" too!!!

Richard

304
Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Samsara
« on: May 25, 2012, 02:05:47 PM »
The creators of Baraka and Chronos are back!!! Original music composed by Michael Stearns, Lisa Gerrard... In theaters August 24, 2012.

http://www.barakasamsara.com/

Richard

305


Andrew Forrest "Resonance (Harmonics Trilogy ~ Volume 1)" CD

Highly gifted ambient composer and painter Andrew Forrest, born in the UK, but since 1998 residing in New Zealand, has returned during the end of 2011 with his 6th full length album and the first part of "Harmonics Trilogy", entitled "Resonance" and packaged in elegant 4-panel digipak. Andrew Forrest is definitely one of those well-hidden and strongly underrated artists journeying through gorgeous deep space realms. "Harmonic Resonance" is the sole track title, presented in three longer movements, all clocking between 20 and 24 minutes. "Harmonic Resonance - 1st Movement" reveals with slow-motion drones, venturing across various, richly textured and evolving phases, from more deeply drifting and powerfully colossal drama through slightly more lighter and melodic paths to heavenly peaceful washes, but always preserving Andrew Forrest's identifying ethereally tranquil sound sculpting, which easily holds the attention of each journeying listener throughout the entire lengthy composition. A brilliantly entertaining and harmonic soundscape!!! "2nd Movement" floates through beautifully grandiose open spaces, masterfully enriched by celestial choir-like sounds and tenderly tinkling bells, before swelling into more intense and progressing sonic cascades. Again brightly colored in depth and spaciousness, always amazingly evocative and filled with unmeasurable majesty and grace. Hauntingly magnificent washes lead "3rd Movement", ornamented with assorted bell sounds, fragilely swirling around listener's ears. Stunningly immersing composition that again advances into other, spectacularly dramatic and cinematic deep space domains, precisely highlighted also by additional angelic choirs. Purely eternal sonic bliss is here!!! And a splendid conclusion of this magically fascinating "Resonance"!!! In case you are not familiar with Andrew Forrest's discography, act now, it's highly recommended to all aficionados searching for thrilling deep space explorations!!!

Richard Gürtler (May 24, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

306
Hi Greg,

and welcome at Hypnos Forum!!! I am very glad to read about your upcoming projects and releases. You have my deep respect for taking or considering the more expensive route when releasing a CD. I will keep my fingers crossed for you and will support your project/releases as much I can!!! All the best :)!!!

Richard

307
Thank you, Juta, it was my great pleasure to review "Silence"!!! And welcome at Hypnos forum, have a great time here!!!

Richard

308
Thank you, guys, for all your feedbacks, I really appreciate that!!! Once again, big thanks to Forrest for this masterwork!!!

Richard

309


Juta Takahashi "Silence" CD

In Sendai, Japan, based ambient drifter Jutaro "Juta" Takahashi, comes here with his 8th full length album "Silence", released in November 2010 through his own Lunisolar Records imprint. Comprised of 4 longer compositions, clocking from 13 and half to 15 and half minutes, the album "Silence" is accompanied by totally magnificent and eye-catching brown-colored cover image of vast open sea, entitled as "Midnight In A Perfect World" and executed by German artist Anja Stiegler, precisely interacting with Juta's soundscapes. "Silence" is ignited by "Ararat", a composition dedicated to Mount Ararat, a two peak hill located in Turkey on Armenian Plateau. "Ararat" unfolds with gracefully gliding slow-motion drones, serenely immersing and picturesque, ornamented throughout the piece by delicate Middle East fragranced string sounds, and reveals a beautifully panoramic and soothing view from the summit. "Wet Dream" steps in slightly more active poetic texture with stronger cinematic approach, masterfully spiced by occasional distant and fragile metallic and piano sounds. Another highly evocative piece of music, drenched in the ocean of deeply mesmerizing beauty and blissfulness!!! The next composition, "Continua Shift", is the most massive dronescape, supported on the back by mysteriously fumed factory-like rumblings and celestially floating voice-like sounds. A truly transcendental sonic experience awaits!!! The closing title track, "Silence", returns, as indicated by its name, into more quiet and peaceful territories with highly relieving piano sounds. More minimal sculpting is based on altering harmony of silent moments with passages of fading in and out synth and piano blankets. All the magic and essence of the nocturnal journey is fully explored through this beautifully captivating epilogue. "Silence" is skillfully crafted, stirring and varied, but gracefully balanced and elegant!!! A must have for all ambient connoisseurs seeking for pure sonic beauty and tranquility in their music!!! Absolutely gorgeous, Juta!!!

Richard Gürtler (May 20, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

310


Forrest Fang "Animism" CD

The brand new work "Animism" by the Chinese-American ambient exotica virtuoso Forrest Fang is ready to hit the streets during the June 2012. After checking the credits on elegant eco CD wallet packaging, everything is more than clear, Forrest Fang is again unveiling all the secrets of his acoustic wizardry by utilizing except violins and mandolins many exotic instruments, mostly originated from Mediterranean region (Baglama and Lavta, both stringed instruments), Southeast Asia (Kulintang - a set of horizontally laid gongs, Dan Bau - a monochord, one-string instrument with a rod, serving as a resonator), South America (Bandurria - a stringed instrument, similar to the cittern or mandolin) or North America (Marxolin - a bowed instrument). A long multi-cultural variety of instruments I must say, among them some that I most likely didn't hear before. "Tailing Wind" hits straightly this fascinating route with its intense, nearly eclectic blend of strings, percussions and gongs, that should be above mentioned Kulintang. This opening composition attracts with strongly primordial feel. Darker dronescapes of "The Chameleon's Paintbox" are soon joined by enchantingly expessive palette of euphoric strings. And even if some delicate Western-infused elements join the stage, just close your eyes and you are immediately transported by this ultimate masterpiece into absolutely exciting places, where all the fragrances and glamor of wonderful Middle East palaces can be explored. Magnificently colorful and beautiful piece, Forrest!!! Sorrowful strings with gongs lead "Islands In The Sky" into deeply meditative realms, which are later shifting into chillout phase before journeying into adventurously magical and filigree fusion of finest Asian and Western musical ingredients. Organic groovy exotica at its most alluring!!! We are encountering a richly sculpted, intriguingly fragranced and skillfully balanced mixture of atmospheric or meditative soundscaping with Forrest's Chinese heritage and Fourth World musical traditions. The next two compositions, "Evening Chorus" and "Passing Suns" sedate with heavenly floating washes, a purely aural bliss is awaiting for everyone!!! "A Tributary Unwinds" is colored with deeper drones and cavernous distruptions at the beginning, but soon the tribal drumming and string magic steal the show. A performance holding the signature that is only Forrest Fang!!! The interaction of all acoustics and electronics is just amazing in this composition, to my ears, certainly an Ambient Hall Of Fame virtuosity!!! "Sleeping Snakes" are joined by heavier and intense spiraling drone sounds enriched by fragilely tinkling bells. The closing piece, "Resting Point", precisely displays its title with serenely wandering drifts presenting Forrest Fang at his most tranquil craft!!! Not to forget, having Robert Rich behind the mastering desk is another bonus. "Animism" is the next benchmark release of Forrest Fang and one of the undisputable highlights of 2012 so far!!! Thank you so much, Forrest, for inviting me to experience spectacular adventures and breathtaking sceneries of all these extraordinary territories, you are a true sonic innovator!!!

Richard Gürtler (May 20, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

311
Hypnos Label Releases / Re: RELEASE: Bruno Sanfilippo - Urbs
« on: May 18, 2012, 11:02:25 PM »
Wow, thank you so much for your first impressions, drone on!!! I can't wait to receive my order with "Urbs", I am getting it from Bruno, so I am keeping an eye on my mailbox... :)

Richard

312
Regarding Mobineko, as far I remember also Databloem used Mobineko for some titles, but it was during 2010. I don't know how many copies were pressed. Most recently also 36 "Lithea" CD was pressed by Mobineko, released in March 2012, packaged in a very nice matte-laminated 4-panel folded cardboard sleeve case with spine. The first run was limited to 200 copies, which are sold out now. According to the artist, additional repress of 100 copies is planned.

Richard

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Hi Paul,

all the best with your performance and enjoy the whole festival!!! Great to hear about the upcoming CD, I am very interested. Any chance to reserve one copy for me? Thank you so much and have a great time :)

Richard


314


Netherworld "Over The Summit" CD

Netherworld, the project of Glacial Movements' driving force Alessandro Tedeschi, has returned in January 2011 with his second GM offering entitled "Over The Summit", an album dedicated to Hyperborea, the mythical unspecified territory in the Far North known as a warm and sunny land with the sun shining twenty-four hours a day. The album opens with the title piece, "Over The Summit", which is invaded by minimal, freezing drones with arctic breathings and occasional distant heartbeats perfectly setting the mood and portraying spectacular images of unbounded icy landscapes. Elements of coldness are all over this enormously immersing composition, however the overall feel is mesmerizingly warm and inviting. Grandióso, Alessandro, I am hooked right away!!! Absolutely gorgeous nocturnal sceneries of pristine vast areas with shimmering sky show are magnificently explored through "Aurora Performs Its Last Show". Kind of joyfully droning hymn praising this breathtaking light show, mastefully enriched by glitchy voice transmissions (most likely in Norwegian). Artic dronescapes have never sounded more charming than this, magnífico!!! "Iceblink (Aurora Borealis Mix)" is leaded by looped deep drone winds with distant and tender noise rumblings, all wrapped by filigree subterranean feel. Few sharper sonic buzzes and outbursts and ominously remote voice-like sounds invade here and there. Not only another masterpiece, but certainly a truly transcendental experience!!! "Crystallized Words" are coming out of the foggy glacier's cavern with otherworldly formations of glowing ice crystals and uniquely mysterious ice walls, where deep spiraling drones are interplaying with slowed-down vague beats and whispering voices. "Thoughts Locked In The Ice" are sculpted with more tranquil, but slowly cascading texture featuring also few sounds of wind and more especially fascinating deeply droning sounds, which might be emitted by the expanding and contracting ice. "Iperborea" is wrapped by hiss with more minimal structure, where distant and cavernously echoed heartbeats are joined by icy drones, resonating singing bowls, abyssal noises, ghostly voices or moments of silence. Grand finale at its most mysterious and desolate!!! "Over The Summit" is fascinatingly visualizing, strangely challenging and intensely inviting. Another superb album from Glacial Movements!!!

Richard Gürtler (May 8, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

315
Hi guys,

yes, that's true, this topic keeps on returning, but I don't care when it can bring some new ideas or improvements based on these discussions, when fans, artists and label/mail-order owners are involved.

My point of view as of a big collector of physical CDs was already presented several times on this forum. And I will repeat again and again, when it comes to a physical product, it should be presented as "all-inclusive" package, to me I will always see each physical product as piece of art. At some point I can accept even a CDr release, but it definitely has to come with more attractive packaging. And the slim jewel case it's at very end of the attractiveness, at least to me. Yes, it probably saves your space on shelter, but I don't care about that if I can't locate it without the spine... I have maybe around 30-40 of these slim jewel case CDR editions in my collection, but there are still many good releases available on this format that I don't buy beacuse of this packaging. Just like "Drone on" said, they somehow slip to the bottom of my want list. I like the music, but I am simply unable to accept this packaging. I think it ruins the music or devaluate, as mentioned by Anthony. Maybe my words are hard, and yes, I understand, the CD sales are very low during these times, however I think this product has much lower chance to be picked up by some other, even small distros/mail-orders. There are many of them across the globe trying hard to spread the music they love and survive. No matter how difficult are the economics during these days, I would never go this way as a label or artist. Well, I am not in their shoes, if I would be, maybe my view might be different, but I hope not!!!

Speaking about CDR editions with slim jewel cases, there are still some other choices, for me much more attractive. For example slim poly case with a full wrap-around insert, printed on both sides, with a spine, as used by Anthony and his DataObscura label. Or the older type of slim jewel case with spine, used by Databloem's Practising Nature or Bluebox editions. Yes, I understand the later is not easy to buy and replace when it arrives broken during the shipping.

10,00 USD for CDR in slim jewel case or 15,00 USD for CD (CDR is acceptable too) in digipak, eco wallet, standard jewel case... My choice is definitely 15,00 USD. Yes, I understand, maybe there are many people who rather prefer cheaper product and don't pay any attention or pay less attention to packaging, 100 people, 100 tastes, however, this is my point of view. I think we are here quite strong community on Hypnos (or Relaxed Machinery), no matter if artists, labels, small distros, reviewers, radios, fans..., so why not to search for the best solutions that will evaluate physical products. I am quite sure there are some printing plants that are able to offer good or acceptable prices for smaller runs of 100, 200 or 300 copies with nice packagings. There are labels and artists going and using this way. So therefore they have some experiences that might be shared with other artists or labels searching for these choices, hopefully these helpful infos would be not "top secret"...

I agree with "Drone on", paying 10,00 USD for download instead of 10,00 to 13,00 USD plus shipping for CDR edition in slim jewel case, is much more reasonable. Bad luck for me, I don't buy any downloads, only physical products...:-( However, I think 10,00 USD per download is too much when comparing to physical product.

Please don't get me wrong, I didn't want to sound bad about these packagings, my big thanks and deep respect go to all those labels and artists releasing CDR editions with slim jewel cases, I know they work very hard, but the bottom line is that I am simply unable to identify with these products.

Keep on enjoying great music!!!

Richard

316
Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Forrest Fang news
« on: May 07, 2012, 09:40:55 AM »
Just got "Animism" CD through Steve's webshop, a true virtuoso performance!!! You made may day, thank you so much, Forrest!!! Looking forward to more spins...

Richard

317
Thank you so much, Harry, feedbacks are always welcome!!!  :)

Thank you so much, Anthony, excellent music=excellent review, it's easy!!! :)

Richard

318


The Winterhouse "Winter Gardens" CDr

"Winter Gardens" is the 4th album of the collaborative project The Winterhouse, featuring the Canadian-US duo of Anthony Paul Kerby (London, Ontario) and Robert Davies (Ithaca, New York). Released at the beginning of March 2012 on the usual imprint via Anthony's DataObscura. The album opens quietly with pastoral "Winter Hymn", a serenely flowing organic ambience that precisely sets the stage for this deeply panoramic meandering through the serenity of a winter landscape wrapped in a heavy blanket of snow. Ice cold monotonous drones invade "The Depths Of Winter" and are precisely bridged with assorted cavernously echoed effects, gurgles and rumblings. Towards the end the texture moves into more experimental terrains. This must be the exciting soundtrack for your journey into the breathtaking "winter gardens" of underground ice cavern labyrinths with all their fascinating and mysterious ice figures and structures. Absolutely gorgeous!!! Deep, static, but massive drone magic enters the next composition, "This Land Drifts Into Silence", and it's nicely colored by miscellaneous distant winds, hisses and occasional heartbeats. It is gradually progressing and soaring above misty, snow capped trees. Delicate sonic disruptions fly along too. Stunningly immersive snowscapes, great work, guys!!! "We Walk Through Glass" keeps on the aerial, dreamy route, with a richly layered cascading structure offering drama and depth, and where icy drones are merged with diverse hazy sonic experiments, hisses and outbursts. "A Winter Symphony" is crossed with modern classical elements, which attractively interact with deeper drone wizardry created by some strongly absorbing voice magics. A really exciting cinematic-like composition filled with variety and intensity, and always gorgeously fascinating and strikingly picturesque!!! "Solitude" is the 13 minute closing composition and another perfectly fitting title with a richly textured, cavernous feel enhanced by various alien breathings, rumbling noises and water sounds. Another amazing trip into the magnificent subterranean domain. Anthony Paul Kerby and Robert Davies have unlocked for me truly beautiful scenic winter wonderland landscapes and underground chambers. Explore your "Winter Gardens" too!!!

Richard Gürtler (Apr 27, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

319


Justin Vanderberg "Synthetic Memories" CD

Released in November 2011 as Justin Vanderberg's debut on Spotted Peccary label and follow-up to his premiere album "In Waking Moments", released back in 2007 on Hypnos Secret Sounds. While "In Waking Moments" album was strongly focused on deeper, tranquil ambience enriched by fine Timeroom fragrances, "Synthetic Memories" shift towards traditional, warmly inviting cinematic sound of Spotted Peccary family. The opening composition, clocking to 9 and half minutes, "From Below", on which Justin is joined by his label mate Jon Jenkins, perfectly portrays this hauntingly sublime fusion of pristine chill-out melodies and serenely floating organic washes, all amazingly harmonized and wrapped by emotionally moving soundtrack-like arrangements. A really catchy intro I must say, even if holding stronger signature of Jon's collaborations with David Helpling. "When I Walk" dives into deeper, expansive atmospheric realms, charmingly colored by ethereally expressive piano. Elegantly gentle melodies return on "Synthetic Memories", a 13-minute title track, and are freshly blended with swiftly sequenced patterns and tranquil atmozones. Some sharper crystalline effects add a bit of cybernetic feel. "67" is deeply visualizing texture, tranquilly and graciously floating. "The Path" is invaded by strange effects and hisses, which quite disturbingly color strongly imaginative piano lead and washes. But razor-sharp tribal grooves join the stage along with other highly distinctive sounds for absolutely exciting show. A truly fascinating mixture of high-tech beats and evocative soundscapes, stunningly beautiful and mesmerizingly effective!!! "Dusk" enters panoramic desert vastness with spiraling drifts roaming over these vast open territories and recalling the ghosts of Timeroom. This is another side of Justin Vanderberg's artistry, presenting his soundscaping at its most expansive and immersing. Another highlight on this journey!!! "Drops" are truly heartwarming, nicely fragranced with modern classical-infused piano, quite minimal, but strongly imaginative. The closing, 9 minutes long "Cold Brightness", is more dreamy, pastoral texture with tenderly tinkling bells, slowly progressing through slightly more massive, droning paths. A nicely fitting finale of these "Synthetic Memories"!!! Justin Vanderberg, in US, Ohio based artist, definitely deserves his place among the Spotted Peccary team roster. "Synthetic Memories" are electrifyingly colorful, yet complexly constructed and skillfully executed, including elegant 4-panel disc eco wallet packaging.

Richard Gürtler (Apr 22, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

320


Aglaia "Absolutely Deep" CD

Gino Fioravanti and Gianluigi Toso, the two Italian sonic magicians of Aglaia, have returned in February 2012 with three exciting works, "Absolutely Deep" is one of them. The masters of fascinating nocturnal and daylight atmospheres unfold the journey with "Go Melt Back Into The Night", 11 and half minutes long walk through a grassy forest meadow with stars illuminating this absolutely tranquil scenery. Beautifully radiant and euphoric drones floate with all their graciousness, this is Aglaia at its most relaxing and immersing!!! But the timeless sound magic of Aglaia keeps on spreading, "Dragon Clouds So High Above" is slightly more textured with slowly spiraling depth and spaciousness evoking mesmerizingly soothing nostalgic moments. "The Dusky Light The Day Is Losing" is colored with deeply tranquilizing concert of distant night chirps, a warmly inviting sonic symphony!!! "Whiter Clouds That Swing Down Low" attracts with few crispy disruptions and fragile effects, which complexly enrich highly evocative drones and sound trully enchanting. Aerial, dreamy washes are fully explored through "Twilight On The Frozen Lake", where the listener floats along in a serene and peaceful stream of sound, painting magical beauty of pristine winter landscape at sunset with surrounding trees reflected in the ice. A really beautiful composition producing a tremendous sense of tranquility. The next piece, "Time Passes Slowly And Fades Away" is gently accompanied throughout by more massive, rougher, hissy sounds, but still remaining warmly evocative. "The Rain Beating Down On My Window" closes this deeply mesmerizing walk with pleasantly soothing and refreshing texture. "Absolutely Deep" album will relax your body and your mind will be wandering on a one way trip to luminous and expansive peacefulness. The gorgeous digipak packaging with various tree trunk textures and images helps set the stage for this purely scenic and comfortable listening experience!!!

Richard Gürtler (Apr 21, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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